Chapter 10: Mountainish inhumanity: the politics of religion, refugees, and ego from Sir Thomas More to Donald Trump
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Although Sir Thomas More is a collaborative play to which Shakespeare contributed only a part, it fits within the larger paradigm of Shakespeare’s non-collaborative works. In Sir Thomas More, More himself embodies the role of the Elizabethan bureaucrat who rises from a lowly status to the epitome of power. In the play, More has a crisis of conscience, the consequence of both a refugee crisis and religious conflict, a situation with eerie parallels to the United States under the presidency of Donald Trump. The unrest which begins the play - and More’s refusal to ratify Henry VIII’s attempt to break from Rome - finds echoes in contemporary political conflicts over refugees, border walls, and the global pandemic. Even the uncertainty surrounding Sir Thomas More’s production (whether or not it ever was staged) presages calls to censor news outlets which print material deemed offensive by a totalitarian-style presidency.

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